Russia: Muslim leaders say Muslim who killed 5 at church while screaming “Allahu akbar” has “nothing to do with Islam”
We have heard this song and dance before. Khalilov pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, and screamed “Allahu akbar” while he was murdering. The Islamic holy book directs Muslims to “kill them wherever you find them” three times (2:191, 4:89, 9:5). Stating that the massacre has nothing to do with Islam is easy; showing exactly how it violates Islamic teachings is hard. If it does violate Islamic teachings, why do so many young Muslims come to misunderstand Islam in exactly the same way, and what are Dagestani Muslim leaders doing to stop this from happening?
“Church Shooting ‘Nothing To Do With Islam,’ Say Daghestani Muslim Leaders,” RFE/RL, February 19, 2018:
The mainstream Muslim leadership in Russia’s Daghestan region has condemned an attack that killed five people outside a Russian Orthodox church, saying that the suspect had “nothing to do with the true Islam.”
In a February 19 statement, the office of the region’s chief mufti also extended condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims of the attack the previous day in the Daghestani town of Kizlyar.
Authorities said a gunman opened fire with a hunting rifle on people attending a Maslenitsa (Shrovetide) celebration near a local church, killing five women and wounding four people before being shot dead by security forces.
The extremist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, though it provided no evidence to support the claim, and Russian media outlet RBC quoted a priest as saying the assailant shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).
Predominantly Muslim Daghestan is plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from the post-Soviet separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya, but violence has subsided in recent years and most insurgent attacks have targeted state authorities.
The Kizlyar mayor’s office on February 19 identified the suspect as Khalil Khalilov, a 22-year-old man from the Tarum district of Daghestan.
In a statement later the same day, the federal Investigative Committee said the authorities were examining all possible motives including the possbility that it was a “terrorist act.” It did not name the suspect.
State-run news agency TASS quoted an unnamed law enforcement source as saying on February 18 that the alleged assailant was suspected of having ties to “extremist” organizations.
In its statement, the chief mufti’s office described the attacker as a “wahhabist” — a word frequently used by Russian authorities to describe militant Islamic extremists.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman was more cautious, saying that the investigation was ongoing and that “the attacker is being checked for connections with extremist organizations.”…
“We had finished the mass and were beginning to leave the church,” the priest, known as Father Pavel, was quoted as saying. “A bearded man ran toward the church shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and killed the people.”…